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make the difficult choices that will set our recovery back on its feet and create the opportunities and freedom and potential that was given to us? and before you get too depressed and poll prozac out of your purse or pocket, we don't have a problem in front of us that isn't solvable. that's the thing that nobody is focusing on. next week we will release $70 billion worth of savings from the pentagon that had nothing, that, the pentagon that have nothing to do with defending this country. now think about that for a minute. i can find $70 billion in the pentagon that has nothing to do with defending the country, that can be taken out of the pentagon, and you won't see one ship less, won't she one true bliss, won't see one airplane less, you won't see flying hours reduce. you won't see a major weapons
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acquisition and i can find 70 billion. and if somebody else looks, they can find another 50 billion. so the point is, is our problems are made more difficult by our politics. our problems are not in solvable. some predictions. we're going to see further downgrades on our debt. i remember a phone call i got from the treasury department after i predicted seven days before it was going to happen that we're going to get a debt downgrade. and i was told quit saying that. you can't say that. that hurts us. and i said no, the truth does not hurt us. the truth is the thing that will set us free. and the fact is, is we do not act responsibly in washington as long as we are not addressing the long-term problems that are
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facing our country. as long as it's about the next election and not the next generation, we are irresponsible. it's already happening if you think about what's going on in our country. i brought with me a zimbabwe $100 trillion note. it's worth about 3 cents. $100 trillion. that's a zimbabwe real note. now think about that for a minute to what's happening right now that's going to impact our kids, and it's the way most governments handle the problems they are in. called financial repression. and it's occurring right now to every retired couple out there with a home and a 401(k), the purchasing value the last four
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year has gone down. not counting the recession. just the purchasing valley. because i met they can learn versus inflation has a real negative effect the net negative earnings on their 401(k). what comes from that? the defacement of the currency. the federal reserve's balance sheet now is in excess of what, $3.6 trillion. how are going to sterilize that debt? what's going to happen? what happens when the bond holders of the world lose confidence that we can, in fact, repay our debt? our historical interest rates on debt are about 5.8%, thing about 1.85% right now. 4% times 16 trillion is $640 billion per year in additional interest costs. so the time is short for us to fix our problems.
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and the point i would make is the solutions are not difficult in terms of figuring out what to do. what is lacking in washington is leadership your leadership that's willing to confront honestly the american people and tell them what the real problems are what they come forward with a positive solution and an attitude that says we, in fact, can solve these problems. we can protect those that need to be protected, and we can, in fact, keep that moral bond for our kids and grandkids. ..
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>> the first one, had my last name in their name. really proud moment for me. you see that little boy four weeks old, what is his future? who is going to shape in washington, who is going to take the political risk to do what is necessary to fulfill the great promises that were created when people
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sacrificed their honor, their lives and their fortunes to create this great country? who will do it. will you? will you be a part of the solution rather than part of the problem? and i can't but hope that the message of this next election cycle is quit thinking about yourself, politicians, and start thinking about our country and do what is necessary. you don't have to get all your way but fix it. if we fix it, combined with the resources that this country has, we will be back on top of the world for three or four more generations just by doing simple things. it is all fixable. there is a solution. requires leadership and risktaking and when the political career of individuals
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in washington is more important than the future of the country and perhaps adams and lincoln were right. i think we are bigger than that. i think we are strong revenge that. i think we are smarter than that and i think our children are worth more than that. i will take any questions. [applause] >> you mentioned the fiscal cliff that is looming in everyone's interest in addressing that. >> fiscal cliff is one of the smartest political strategies i ever heard because i don't think there is one. let me explain what i mean by that. is there a fiscal cliff? is there a date in january where things change? yes. in comparison if nothing happens between now and then the
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predictions are we might slip into a recession. but the real fiscal cliff is we are already bankrupt. the real fiscal cliff is that nobody is thinking, no one is offering a solution to medicare. our biggest problem in front of our country is this demographic shift of which i am part and the fact that the average couple puts $110,000 into medicare and takes $350,000 out. you saw that problem tomorrow. we don't need the federal reserve keeping interest rates artificially low. they will be artificially low because we will be dynamically and fiscally healthy. there is the real fiscal cliff. what we have done is we have taken the focus and said here is short term again and the real problems are long term. manifestations come in the short term and will be much greater
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two years from now if we don't fix it. if in fact we don't send a signal that we are going to take care of the long term problems we can fix the fiscal cliff but it is not going to matter a year from now because the bond vigilante's will have driven down the price of bonds and interest rates will be around 6%. it is a perfect political strategy to take our eye off of what the real ball is. social security is not hard to fix. medicare is very difficult to fix. but it can be fixed. the health-care decision is a whole other discussion. you could have five ripon societies and not cover it. so i think there is a lot of emphasis on it but i want to remind you that is short-term thinking. that is all 17 or 18 months or
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less thinking. we need to be thinking three four five years and fix those. the short term will take care of itself. you think there is any problem, if we had a solution for medicare tomorrow do you think this economy wouldn't bump? there are $3.8 trillion sitting on the sidelines right now in this country. normally there are eight, in business bank accounts. paul krugman thinks we should borrow another trillion dollars and create another stimulus. i think the stimulus we ought to have is recreate confidence and certainty in our country so some of that $3.8 trillion gets invested in real investment that creates real wealth and real jobs. that is how you stimulate the economy. you create certainty and confidence and you have to do that by creating confidence in the long term.
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i am not worried about the fiscal cliff. if we are fortunate enough to win we will fix that. we will reform the tax code. we will create certainty. people will be able to see through the long horizon that it is once again safe to put money to work in this country. we have a territorial tax system that says you can bring money home instead of forcing our own businesses to invest abroad because we penalize 28% whatever cash if you bring it home. that is one of the craziest things we are doing. the head of eli lilly have hundreds of millions of dollars. to bring home is 28%. why are they going to take -- to their stockholder why would they do that? invest money where they are rather than invest it in this
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country. >> i understand your point and i think certainly taxes play a larger role. regulation plays a larger role too, and i cite one of my favorite statistics. it takes 2.5 times more money per mile to live a pipeline on top of the 7500 feet of water, all because of regulatory costs. take control of the regulatory burden. >> there is a grains act. i don't know if you are familiar with it. one of my frustrations as a
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senator is we right bills. we leave hard work to the bureaucracies. we don't know what we are doing. we don't have enough information. and because the philosophy goes one way or the other, what we ought to do is write specifically what we expect in to the laws. here is how he will do it. let the bureaucracy figured out. they don't follow congressional intent. they follow political intent of what the administration is directing what you are conservative or liberal. when trouble is because of the
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lazy congress, with political expediency, he didn't know whether the issue was enough to do it in the right way. i will never forget -- i had a conversation with an executive about productivity, how they try to get more with less every year. there was a certain senator in the room who never heard of the concept. [inaudible] >> be point being looked around at who our elected leaders are and ask yourself what their real world experience is outside of politics. it is easy to figure out how we got where we are today.
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when the goal is the next election everything you do, instead of to secure the future of our country, we have the result that we have today and that is both republican and democrat problem. what america needs to wake up to is -- what the americans who have benefited from the country need to wake up to it is time for you to serve if you have those broad levels of experience come and use it and give something back to the country. we have so many people with so much potential in this country that have real knowledge and judgment who refuse to serve. that is part of a spiritual breakdown in terms of an obligation to be a great citizen by sacrificing some of your time and reputation. this isn't a position that gives you a great reputation. the negatives always outweigh the positives but come and
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serve. 70% of the senate never had the job outside politics. is it any wonder we lacked judgment and discernment and experience to apply critical issues of the day? how did we get there? our founders certainly weren't that. the first hundred years were not career politicians. the average length of service was markedly less than two terms in the senate. we have created our own problem because we have an elite political class in both parties and come from a farm team of the same people and until we put people in office that have real world experience, and there is nothing wrong -- this is not a criticism of those individuals. they have great hearts and great minds and great compassion but no real world experience with
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which to make judgments. >> as a supporter of simpson bowls, the continuum of the political discussion what do you think of criticism of congressman paul ryan and his opposition to simpson bowls? >> i don't think much of it at all. i was in all the meetings and had conversations with him, they said from the start unless you address the biggest problem in front of us which was mandated not to be addressed, which was medicare, no matter what happened they could not support that as a solution and it is not a solution. it is a short-term solution. i voted to get it on the board. the fact is if you don't address it paul ryan and jeff handling said they would handle what we put in the bill.
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you have to put medicare reform in. the only way to save medicare is to change it. it is a statistical financial numerical impossibility. i will tell you that i believe in less than four years from today the trust fund will be out of money. medicare part a. the worst case scenario by trusties is 2020 to. i don't think we are anywhere close. this large group of baby boomers of which i am a part, they are holding off surgery's and getting things done until they get into medicare and the consumption is going to explode. somebody needs to be criticized. it is the president who appointed the commission, who
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got a good result and refused to embrace it. how are you? >> i am fine. >> i can understand how you might look at what everybody calls the fiscal cliff and see it not necessarily as the emergency that others do. what do you think is going to be the scenario with regard to the sequestered itself. is this something lawmakers have chosen to do as a last resort for their inability to make decisions where to cut? work is the recognition that the sequestered is so big that it might add a full point to unemployment is that big enough for congress and senate to revisit what happened? >> i am not saying we shouldn't revisits it. a sequester is a chicken politician's way to solve a problem. cut everything the same amount.
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that way you are not responsible for the good things getting cut and not responsible for continuing to fund lousy things. node discernment. no knowledge. we just issued a report. there are 47 job training programs and we spend $19 billion on it here. 47. think about that. why in the world do we have 47 job training programs? we just issue a report. we looked at every federal job-training program and how affect oklahoma. it went to look at everyone of them. here is what we found. there is not one successful federally run job-training program in oklahoma. there is highly successful state job training programs. we have a city in oklahoma with 16,000 people and 4.7% unemployment rate, 17 federal job-training offices in the
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city. what job training programs are is a way to employ someone in job-training. the point i am making is it is not hard to fix this if you actually know. in our office no one comes close to all the issues in every branch of government on all the waste. the problem is nobody reads it. my colleagues don't even know it. they don't even look at it. mail it to everyone of them and nobody wants to make those hard polices of saying no because there's a constituency for every program out there and there is election coming and as soon as this election is over there is another election coming. i don't dare offend anybody. i decided i will offend everybody. because our children are worth it.
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my new grandson is worth it. for me to be -- to call the truth once it is. at least a third of what the federal government does, at least a trillion dollars what it does has no positive effect on this society whatsoever and it could go away and you would see growth like crazy in this country. that is the truth and i can show it to you but nobody wants to look. nobody that casts a vote wants to look. it is hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil as long as i get reelected. [inaudible] >> those are all estimates. let's talk honestly. you hear a business -- the defense department is the republican -- to the republicans is the same thing medicare is to
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the democrats. first of all, the cut in the pentagon is a cut from expected growth. it is $468 billion. you cut us half a trillion dollars. we didn't cut them a penny. if you look at the budget control act pentagon spending goes up. washington speak and republicans speak -- we could have a better defense with less money if we hold the pentagon accountable. nobody wantss to hold the pentagon accountable because there are jobs in their districts that depend on the pentagon not being accountable. ask yourself a question. of the $350 billion in weapons procurement we have under contract and development why is
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$150 billion going to be wasted? where is the adult in the room? why is it when they're going to spend $24 billion on i t and $12 billion will go down the drain and the federal government line is going to spend $46 billion and $23 billion go down the drain, where are the adults? where are the people -- who got fired because something didn't work? nobody. there is no accountability because -- is not a president's fault. that is congress's responsibility. congress has failed miserably both under republican control and democrat-controlled. dan? >> you said there are solutions and they are available and all
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we need our leaders. we can wish leaders in seoul in a room we have now where are the leaders? richard burke? >> sexy chambliss --saxby chambliss, dick durbin actually knows we are in trouble. that is a real revelation, dick is working hard to come to a bipartisan solution. as is mark warner. michael bennett. there are real leaders. the question is will they take the political risk to get out there when we -- will they need to get us to a bipartisan solution and i think they will. there has to be leadership from the president that we need to do
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this. the american people are grownups. this country has done hard things lots of times. this country never does hard things unless they are called to do it. we haven't had anybody call us to do it and nobody has explained the predicate of what is at risk. the american people need to be talked to like adults. tell them the truth instead of saying -- there is nothing wrong with losing an election. that is heresy in washington. if you advance the debate, positive things that come in from losing an election to a dancing the debate is why i offer amendments. i know i am not going to win. i offered to advance a debate and increase the knowledge across the country on specific,
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very specific issues. i think people will step up. yes, sir? [inaudible] >> if you go back to the reagan tax reforms and look at what happened economically to our country, i was in my medical office and got the tax bill in 1986 i was really mad at reagan. a lot of my deductions went away. what happened the next four years in our country? we average 4.6% real gdp growth with major tax reform. we change the incentive for invested capital. created confidence and certainty
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in the tax code and capital flow. that is what needs to happen. my personal belief is we will sunset the present code. it is dead. the reason we should sunset it is we can get rid of the lobbying pressure of special interests in the tax code because if you sunset the tax code and say here are the rates you want to add something back, here's how the rates go up. lobbying to increase the rates is a lot harder than keeping a well-connected thing for special-interest groups. take mortgages. budget knows these numbers. i had it presented to me on the mortgage interest deduction except $200,000 is the cut off and of course it shows that the majority, $200,000 income is
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below $200,000 but when you do the cops and $100,000 you find 70% of the mortgage tax deductions are for those making over $100,000 a year. look at canada. canada has no mortgage interest deduction. they are a homeownership rate 8% higher than ours. the incentive to create home ownership and did it work? we ought to be asking fundamental questions. i am not saying yes or no to a mortgage deduction but if you want to add it back and let's talk about who gets the real benefit from it and what does it cost in terms of increasing rates? if you want state sales tax who gets the benefit and what does it do to rates? let's make an informed decision about how we reform the tax code. whatever we do let's create certainty. >> we will leave this program. you can see it in its entirety.
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go to c-span.org and check the c-span video library. the u.s. senate is about to gavel in. on the agenda is an agenda that will provide work training for veterans looking for civilian jobs giving them priority for hiring in federal jobs. the chamber voted 95-1 to move the bill forward. live to the senate floor on c-span2. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black,
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will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. lord of salvation, sometimes we're tempted to doubt your promises and to feel cynical about the chaos in our world. when these feelings come, help us to remember your great deeds in our nation's history, recalling the many victories you have already helped us win. continue to lead our lawmakers, like a shepherd, in green pastures and beside still waters. nourish their spirit with the food of your wisdom, soothing
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their doubts and calming their fears. give them indefatigable courage for the living of these challenging days, using them as instruments to share hope and encouragement to our nation and world. and, lord, we thank you today for the life and legacy of ambassador chris stevens. we pray in your great name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands,
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one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington d.c., september 12, 2012. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable kirsten e. gillibrand, a senator from the state of new york, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: daniel k. inouye, president pro tempore. mr. reid: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: the senate is now considering the motion to proceed to s. 3547, the veterans job corps act. 70 minutes will be equally divided this morning between the two leaders or their designees with the republicans controlling the first half and the majority controlling the final half. we'll begin consideration of
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veterans jobs bill today. it's unfortunate that we're having to go through all this, another couple of filibusters on this bill. but that's what we've been through. i mentioned yesterday here on the floor, madam president, that we, for the six years that we've had a democratic majority, there's been 380 -- this makes now 381 filibusters. during the time of lyndon johnson, six years, same period of time -- 1. 381 to 1. that's how the obstructionism has taken place in this body on the part of the republicans. there has never been anything close to this. now, madam president, i was very disturbed when late last night, and really saddened to learn of
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the death of ambassador chris stevens and three other american personnel in an attack on the u.s. consolate in libya and would be happy to talk by name about them but their names have not been released at this stage. it does take away how important these jobs are of these foreign service officers. i join president obama in condemning these senseless acts of violence. my thoughts are with the families of those who were killed in this horrible attack it is too often forgotten that american diplomats risk their lives on a daily basis. madam president, when i have had the good fortune since my days in the foreign affairs committee in the house to travel the world, i always make sure wherever i go i visit with foreign service personnel. they're every place. there's no group of people, i tell them that every timist
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opportunity to visit with them, no one does our country more in a positive sense than these foreign service officers. they work so hard and duty stations most of the times are very, very difficult. take, for example, this good man, ambassador stevens, who was just confirmed a fuel months ago -- a few months ago, he was a peace corps volunteer, he taught english. he's fluent in arabic, french and english. he served in the foreign service in jerusalem, in cairo, saudi arabia and staff assistant to the bureau of middle eastern affairs. he had an education that was really unbelievably strong and powerful. he graduated from berkeley. he had a law degree from
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hastings, one of the premier law schools in the country. he has a masters degree from national war college. what a loss to our country. our diplomatic corps is filled with admirable and dedicated public servants, and the four americans who lost their lives yesterday exemplified the courage and sacrifice that happens every day in diplomatic posts around the globe. they learn the language, they live with the people where they go. as i've indicated, eiffel traveled to many of the american embassies abroad. i've always been so impressed and grateful for the leadership and i communicate that to them every chance i get. i'm so -- we're so fortunate to have had for the last three and a half years hillary clinton
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leading the state department. i've indicated ambassador stevens was not a political appointment -- appointee. he was a foreign service officer, as i indicated served in the peace corps, spent his life giving of his time and his talents to promote democracy around the world. i supported president obama's directive to provide whatever resources are necessary to keep our personnel in libya safe. i'll continue to monitor the situation as we learn more about these terrible events. madam president, henry ward beacher, the famous abolitionist, once said the library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life. i agree. our founding fathers also agreed. that's why we have the library of congress. of course, the library of
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congress was initially the library of thomas jefferson. that's what started the library of congress. it was established in 1800. this country's first federal cultural institution. it's the largest library in the world. 35 million books, 830 miles of book shelves. the numbers are staggering. almost 10,000 new items are added every day. for 25 years the library of congress has been -- the librarian of congress has been dr. james billington, a faithful and effective leader. i first got to know dr. billington in 1986 when i came to the senate. there was a little squabble between a couple of more senior senators, which was a wonderful opportunity for me because one
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of the very senior senators thought that maybe he deserved more than being the chair of the subcommittee on legislative branch. i grabbed that. i was happy to do that. i loved that. i loved that experience. i learned a lot about what goes on here, how we pay for things. at that time there was an effort to really hurt the library of congress. i had that opportunity to stand up for the library of congress. every time we had a vote, we won. they weren't able to damage the library of congress. i got to know dr. billington. i had the good fortune to travel once with him to russia. dr. billington, before coming to the library of congress, was one of the foremost scholars on the former soviet union. he knew everything about that, and he was -- and he still writes about the new russia. a very, very stalwart academic. when he took over the library of
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congress in 1987, computers were a scarcity, but he knew right away, he had a vision of what the future should be, and he thought it would be important to digitize the library's collections, make them available on the internet. there was a little pushback at first, but of course now that is history. that's what happened. i have such admiration for him as a person. he's a good person not only from academic standing but as an administrator. i'm glad that they were unable to slash the library's budget as they tried. and as a result of that, people came to a better understanding of what the library of congress was all about, and i'm glad i was able to play a part in that. he has always ensured the library of congress would remain an unmatched resource for knowledge and enlightenment so it is with pleasure i congratulate my friend, dr. billington, on 25 years of
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dedicated service as the librarian of congress. very quickly, madam president, i was very disappointed to hear speaker boehner yesterday say that he's giving up on reaching a bipartisan agreement to avoid huge cuts in both domestic and defense programs. i don't feel that way. i can assure everyone within the sound of my voice that i haven't given up on finding a reasonable balanced approach to reduce our debt and avoid these difficult cuts. democrats agree across-the-board aren't the best ways to solve our nation's fiscal problems. far from it. the sequester is a bitter pill but we did that on purpose. that was no accident. that is why there is overwhelming support for it. the budget deficit-reduction act had a sequester in it. the sequester was engineered to be hard to take so it would force us to compromise. it was designed to be tough enough for the two sides to
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reach a balanced deal. that's why there was widespread bipartisan support for this. soy hope that -- so hoeup -- so i hope speaker boehner will reconsider. i believe it is much too early to give up. i urge my republican colleagues not to give up on themselves because i'm not going to give up on them. it's time for them to stopl rooting for the -- stop rooting for the economy to fail, start rooting for congress to succeed in reaching common ground. the markets are watching our every move with moody's saying yesterday that they were thinking of down grading our debt standing, credit rating. there's no hope -- it's not the right time to say there is no hope in getting anything done. i disagree. i say the glass is half full. the speaker came after that
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reminder for moody's came forward. we're willing to work, i say that to my friend john boehner and to everyone else. we're willing to negotiate, cooperate, willing to make difficult cuts to programs we hold dear, and i think republicans should do the same. so far they refused. they refused to raise even a penny of new revenue. they refused to ask millionaires to contribute their fair share to help reduce our debt and our deficit and democrats won't agree to a one-sided solution, forcing the middle class and those in greatest need to bear all the hardship. i repeat, we're willing to consider the difficult cuts on programs we believe are extremely important. a sequester is not a perfect legislative tool, but rarely do we do anything legislatively that's perfect. that's the way it's been for generations. but at least it has the benefit of being a balanced approach and
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it has the power of law. republicans, including vice presidential candidate paul ryan, would do well to remember they voted for the sequester. mr. mcconnell: madam president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: we learned yesterday and are receiving reports this morning of the attacks against the united states embassy in cairo and the u.s. consulate in bengazi in libya. in libya, our ambassador chris stevens and three other americans were killed in the service of our nation. our thoughts and sympathies today are with the families of these brave americans. these attacks remind us of the sacrifices made on a daily basisaway foreign service officers, diplomatic security personnel and our marine
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security guards. i join my colleagues in strongly condemning the murder of these innocent americans, and i strongly support employing every available tool at our disposal to ensure the safety of americans overseas and to hunt down those responsible for these attacks. yesterday, we commemorated the anniversary of the attacks of september 11, and today we are reminded that brave americans serve us every day at the risk of their own lives. we honor the americans we lost in libya and we will stand united in our response. among the things we can agree on in washington is that the attacks on the u.s. and its representatives will be met with resolve and that america's presence and defense of our national interests across the globe will not be deterred by the acts of violent extremists. i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to s. 3457, which the clerk will report. the clerk: the motion to proceed to calendar number 476, s. 3457, a bill to require the secretary of veterans affairs to establish a veterans job corps, and for other purposes. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the next 70 minutes will be equally divided and controlled between the two leaders with republicans controlling the first half. the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: thank you, madam president. this is a great nation. i was interested to hear the comments of our two leaders today and was saddened, like all of us here, regarding the news of ambassador stevens and three other hard-working public servants who represent us. we're a great nation, this is a
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great nation, and people like those individuals demonstrate american exceptionalism all around the world, and that's why it saddens me to come down here today and on the eve of hearing about whether the federal reserve is going to decide tomorrow whether they are going to print more money or not print more money and our markets each day are volatile, trying to figure out and read the minds of what our central bankers are going to do. i spoke two days ago with one of our leading administration officials, somebody who i respect greatly, who had just been in a meeting in the asian area and attended a meeting where christine laguard was speaking to a small group of folks. she is the head of the international monetary fund. and she was stating that the real difference in how the world is going to evolve over the next short term and how the economies of the world are going to react
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is really based upon whether people in europe and people in the united states of america are going to rise up and deal with the problems that they have themselves internally. i look at what's happening on both sides of the atlantic with central bankers printing money to buy debt of great nations, nations that have evolved, they are sophisticated, they are democracies. they have paved the way for other cultures to evolve and develop economically themselves, and yet we wake up in a world where because politicians in europe and politicians here in the united states of america have not risen up and dealt with the fiscal issues within their own countries, the central bankers are left in a situation where they are printing money and buying debt in order to move a crisis further away from the
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day we now live in. i know that the majority leader talked about negotiations that are taking place regarding sequester, and i know that everybody in this body has been involved in some meeting of some kind to deal with the fiscal issues that our nation deals with, and i realize that over the next 60 days, there is likely nothing that we as a body are going to do. i hope that -- and i understand that, and i don't think much of america -- anyone in america really expects that that is going to happen over the next week and a half. we'll figure out a way, how to move out of here and not do hopefully any damage to our country. but what i hope is going to happen is that when we come back after the election during a lame-duck session or shortly thereafter that all of us will get serious about dealing with our nation's fiscal issues. i know the majority leader spoke to the economy, and i do want our economy to do well. i want citizens in tennessee and
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new york and all across our country to do well. and yet, what we have done over the course of the last year and a half or so is passed silly little bills that have nothing whatsoever to do with sustaining a long-term economy, and we find ourselves again waking up on the eve of finding out whether the chairman of our federal reserve is going to print more money to buy our debt to make it less painful for us and really cause us to be in a position where we put off making the tough decisions. i hope the federal reserve chairman tomorrow is going to show the humility that he needs to show, that monetary policy has its limits, and it's really up to us now to do our jobs. so i'm saddened today about the news of some wonderful public servants having lost their lives. i wake up every day with a tremendous sense of privilege
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that we have to serve in this body and to represent people like that that are living in touch circumstances around the world to make sure that all of us here are safe. and what i hope is going to happen in this body, republicans and democrats alike, is that we will honor the sacrifices that we honored yesterday and we today solemnly think about, that we're going to honor the sacrifices that people make around this world on our behalf to keep us free and safe and that we as a body, republicans and democrats, are going to rise up and do the things that we need to do to put in place a real finance reform package, that we will not rely upon the sugar of federal reserve but that we will do the things we need to do to create a sustained economy. i really believe, and i think most people in this body know it when they think about it, that we are one fiscal reform package
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away from being able to focus on being a great nation. we are a great nation, but to really be able to focus on that. when you look at where we are as a country with with the tremends energy resources that two years ago we didn't even realize we had in this continent, when you look at the technology breakthroughs that are happening in this great country, when you look at the pharmaceutical breakthroughs that are happening, that are saving lives around this world, we are one reform package away from putting that, from putting this problem in our rearview mirror and really focusing on the greatness of this nation. so, again, i know we're not going to do anything over the next week and a half and we're not going to do anything over the next 60 days, but i hope senators from all around this country and house members from all around this country will come back after this election and have the courage that had
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been demonstrated so often by so many americans, that we'll have the courage to make the choices that are necessary, the tough choices that are necessary to put our fiscal woes behind us, to cause this economy to grow, to allow americans' standard of living to rise and candidly to help lift hundreds of millions of people around this world out of poverty. that is what people are depending on. it's an embarrassment that we find ourselves in this position where we're being diminished around the world because people are looking at us, the great example to the world of free enterprise and limited government and democracy. people are looking at us and knowing that we don't have that courage today, but i'm hopeful that we're going to come back, we're going to deal with these issues, we're going to do it in a bipartisan way, and then as a
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nation we can continue to focus on our greatness and we can help not only lift our own citizens up through economic growth but help continue to be a beacon to the world. with that, i yield the floor. i notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. udall: we're in a quorum call, is that correct? the presiding officer: correct. mr. udall: i ask the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: i have two unanimous consent requests i'd like to direct to the chair. the first one is i would ask unanimous consent the following staff of the finance committee be allowed on the senate floor for the remainder of the 112th congress -- andrea chapman, claire green, sara weaver, sterling louden, owen hawk ye, james mathis and owen stefans. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: i also have eight unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. i ask unanimous consent that these requests be agreed to and these requests be printed in the
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record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: madam president, i yield the floor and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. udall: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. udall: madam president, i would ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: madam president, i have been coming to the senate floor on a daily basis to talk about the importance of the wind production tax credit. i intend to do so today, but before i do bring up that important topic, i wanted to speak to a situation and an incident that's on everybody's minds, and that's what happened in libya earlier today. i think all of us in the senate adhere and should adhere to the concept of politics should cease at the water's edge. i hope in this terrible vadged that that philosophy will hold fast, and i along with all
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coloradans absolutely condemn the murders -- that's what they were -- of ambassador stevens and other u.s. state department personnel today in libya. i'm a member of the senate committees on the armed services and intelligence, and i know that the men and women of our diplomatic corps do absolutely vital work under difficult conditions every single day. ambassador stevens was a dedicateed public servant who was working in libya to advance freedom and democracy, and we will continue undeterred in our pursuit of those goals. we salute the service and sacrifice of all those who were taken from us today and their families are in our thoughts and prayers. madam president, as i mentioned when i first rose, i'm here again on the floor of the senate to urge all of us to take action on an issue that already has broad bipartisan support, and that is the renewal of the
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production tax credit for wind energy. like the presiding officer and all of my colleagues, i was back home in my home state of colorado for the august work period, and i saw firsthand the effects, the very positive effects that wind energy has had on my state of colorado. but i also saw the sobering effects of our inaction, congressional inaction, which only strengthened my resolve to extend the production tax credit. i want to share some specific insights and developments in colorado and then move to the state i'm going to discuss today in a little bit. x.l. energy operates in my home state. it has a wide area in the upper midwest as well, but it announced that it had set a record for the amount of electricity generated from its wind resource. at one point, x.l.'s colorado customers got over half to be
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accurate, to be precise. 57% of their electricity generated from wind power. and this is a huge success. it highlights in so many ways the potential that wind energy has to fill a larger and larger portion of our portfolio as this wind energy matures. sadly, i also saw the negative effects of our failure to renew the wind p.t.c. vestis wind systems, of which the presiding officer is familiar and does business in colorado, it announced layoffs last month affecting 2,300 workers worldwide who are manufacturing the turbines themselves, including about 100 workers at vestis facilities in pueblo and brighton, colorado. this was both predictable and predicted, and it's time for us to act to protect american workers in the wind energy industry. and each day that we fail to act
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to extend the production tax credit, more american jobs are put at risk and we further cede more of our clean energy leadership to foreign competition. look no further than colorado for both the promise of wind energy but also the peril of congressional inaction. and of course these effects are not limited to my state. i'm biased. i think i represent the best state in the nation, but every day i come to the floor, i want to highlight a different state and the positive impacts that the wind industry has had there. every state in the nation literally has a stake in this crucial wind industry space. today, therefore, i'd like to talk about the great state of north carolina where the wind industry has literally boomed in recent years. north carolina, like a lot of states, has seen a tremendous growth in its wind manufacturing sector. what are the numbers? well, as of 2012, there are at
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least 17 wind manufacturing facilities in north carolina that provide jobs to their local communities and at least one more facility is scheduled to come online soon, but the facilities produce everything from steel to lubricants and bearings. you can see all the green circles which designate where these facilities are all across the great state of north carolina. let me focus on one manufacturer in north carolina. it's p.p.g. industries. p.p.g. provides -- is a major supplier, i should say, of fiberglass to the wind industry, and there are hundreds of jobs linked to its activities. the fiberglass facilities are in shelby and lexington which are outside of charlotte and greensboro respectively, and their role, growing role has been really good for not only the company but for north carolina, and in 2010, p.p.g. expanded its presence and
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brought online an additional furnace and created another 1,800 jobs. in sum, across north carolina, you have over 2,000 good-paying jobs, and then those jobs create a ripple effect. you want to look more broadly then at north carolina so they are manufacturing, but they also have very significant wind energy potential in the state itself. offshore wind resources are abundant, the american wind energy association estimates that wind energy could provide enough electricity to power some 800,000 homes. and that's not all. onshore wind resources could also provide a substantial amount of power for the state. so you look at these numbers, this is an important industry in north carolina. it's certainly made a difference, but if we don't extend the wind production tax
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credit, this strong growth and the potential development -- the strong growth in the manufacturing sector plus the potential to harvest the wind in north carolina is really at risk. and the years of strong progress that we have seen here towards a clean energy future in north carolina could be literally dashed if the wind production tax credit expires at the end of the year. and here's the bad news. the wind industry in north carolina, because of their anticipating expiration, they are beginning to downsize and shelf expansion plans. predictable. this is being repeated, this story, potentially all over the country. it's heartbreaking, madam president. i remain hopeful, however. i'm dedicated to extending the p.t.c. i know the presiding officer has been very helpful and very
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supportive and understands the importance of this. a little bit of good news, the senate finance committee passed a bipartisan tax extenders package as we left for our august state work period, and it did include an extension of p.t.c. and i want to stress an important point about that effort. the package was bipartisan. and i want to see the senate take up the finance committee's legislation immediately and pass it immediately. in a few hours the house is going to see an interesting discussion there. the presiding officer served in the house. so did i. equal partner of ours in the senate. over a dozen members of the house are going to take the floor today and express their strong support for american jobs and the extension of the p.t.c. i'm really pleased that these members of the house, sustainable energy and
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environment coalition will be adding their voices to what's become a bipartisan and now bicameral push to extend the p.t.c. as i begin to close, madam president, let me also talk about the support that's out there in the country. it's a broad array of groups have stood up and said we think the p.t.c. awed to be extended. -- ought to be extended: the u.s. chamber of commerce, national governors association, the governors wind energy coalition, american farm burea federation and many major national newspapers have all weighed in saying this is important to our country's future. members on both sides of the aisle, have i mentioned, have said the p.t.c. should be extended because they know and they've seen the positive effects of the p.t.c. on their communities and across the country. they also know that wind energy and renewable energy more generally is the future. it's the wave of the future. there's no question. all you have to do is look at
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the rest of the world. look at china, look at spain, look at denmark, look at developing countries. they're all investing in clean energy. it is not something they're doing to feel good. in sum extending the p.t.c. is a no-brainer. it's common sense. we need to do the job we were sent here to do. we ought to be extending the p.t.c. as soon as possible. it equals jobs. we ought to pass it as soon as possible. madam president, i'm going to continue coming to the floor every day until we finish the job. i won't stop until we vote to protect american jobs. failure to act has already hurt this vital industry. continued inaction will result in the loss of thousands of american jobs which then has a ripple effect on the rest of the nation's economy. colleagues stand with me, stand with the presiding officer, stand with american workers.
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let's extend the production tax credit now as soon as possible. madam president, thank you for your support. thank you for your interest. i yield the floor. ms. mikulski: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: madam president, i ask for ten minutes -- unanimous consent for ten minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. mikulski: -- to address the senate. madam president, last night when i went to sleep i was going over in my mind the speech i wanted to give here today, which is an important day in the history of the american space program. it's the day that president kennedy challenged us to go to the moon, to land safely on the moon and to return safely as well. when i woke up this morning, i woke up to terrible news, to learn that our ambassador in
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libya had been killed by a mob. so we've lost ambassador chris stevens. we lost three others at the american embassy in libya. and it is a terrible tragedy. and at the same time yesterday our embassy in cairo was stormed. but thanks to the vigilance its leadership and our wonderful marine corps, their defending the embassy, we lost no one in cairo. but, madam president, i, first of all, want to extend to all of the families who lost someone in libya overnight my extreme and definite condolences and sympathy. i'm at a little bit of a loss for words because these tragedies that to our men and women who serve at our embassy
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happen all too frequently, and then we say a grateful nation never forgets, and then we go on to bash our federal employees and our state department people saying oh, they have these cushy jobs in exotic places and they must be out eating brie somewhere. i lost the cold war bombings diplomats, ambassador bartley, head of our consolate service, was serving there, his son interned there his summer, wanted to be like his dad. they died there. they died there. but he was at his duty station. and, you know, it's been almost 15 years. and then, oh yeah. well, it's not an oh yeah. these men and women are serving the united states of america. they were at their duty station. they were trying to help libya rise up now to be able to create a government and be able to create opportunity for its own
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people, and they gave their lives. ambassador chris stevens had already served two tours in libya, but wanted to go back again at this new moment in history to stand up, to help libya stand up a true government that was free and would give their people a chance at democracy and participating in a new middle east. and then there was sean smith, who was a ten-year veteran of foreign service. he was an information management officer. he had served in iraq. he's a father, a father of two children, a devoted husband. we now know what happened to them. so we must continue our strong partnership with libya after the fall of qadhafi. but i call upon the new leadership, call for calm, call for tolerance, call for you're
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angry. there are ways to do protests and so on. you don't have to go around killing the american ambassador when our air people, our air force flew over libya and our president and our congress work to support this new government coming up. and then there's cairo. because of anger over a video -- and i don't know about this video. i don't know its content. but i do know the outcome, that our embassy in cairo was stormed. they tore down our american flag, they replaced it with another flag. but we are under the flag of the united states of america and our flag is in egypt, our flag is in egypt because we are great allies to the egyptian government and great supporters of the egyptian people as they come through the arab spring and again trying to create a new day and a new way.
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i say to ambassador paterson and the entire staff, again, our thoughts and prayers are with you. i was in cairo. i know what they do every day. i know how during the arab spring many of them were locked in the embassy trying to keep our government functioning while their own families had to be evacuated. some didn't see their families for three weeks because they were inside the pwaepl is i, they couldn't leave, and we had the most massive evacuation of civilian employees in our history, since really the beginning of some other armed conflicts. so i say to those embassy staff, both our wonderful ambassador, paterson, but to a lot of the little people who work at the embassy, people who keep the commercial commerce office open, the people doing the wonderful work with n.g.o.'s to show them how to work, to build a free and new kind of society and also to the foreign nationals who work
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in you are embassy. so we think about you. i say to the leadership of those countries again, call for calm, call for tolerance. but i say to my colleagues here, we've got to call for calm and tolerance right in this institution. we've got to really support our men and women in the state department, our men and women in the military, all who serve overseas are representatives of united states of america, whether you are the peace corps or the marine corps, whether you are the foreign service or the commercial service or whatever, you're in the service of the united states of america, promoting our values trying to help promote democracy and also trying to have economic and strategic cooperation. i thank our foreign service staff, many of them live in maryland. but that's not the point. they live in the united states
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of america. and so i say to all when you point your finger and say we really don't need a government, i think we do need a government. and when we talk about standing up for our military now in these tough budget times, absolutely we should. but remember there are other overseas who also carry our flag in very dangerous areas. so let's start respecting the people for our -- who work for our government. let's make sure they have the right resources to do their job and then let our president, our talented secretary of the help work with the others to work with other world leaders to do something to really bring about stability. so, madam president, i feel very strongly about this. i guess what you're hearing from senator mikulski is grief for
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what's happened in libya, worry about what's happened in cairo, tension about what continues to happen in the middle east, and then frustration about what goes on here. when after all is said and done, what is said gets done and what is said is often not very good. the world is watching us here. we're supposed to be the greatest democracy in the world. not only are we supposed to be but i believe they are. but democracy begins with us. democracy is not always something written on a piece of paper which are our founding documents. but we have to live what is within those founding documents. we have to, first of all, start with civility, start with respect, start with conversations among ourselves about how we can truly work together to help our country and to help our country help the world. so -- and this is what it was
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all about 50 years ago when a young president went to rice university. the russians were pounding their chests. they put something up in the air called sputnik. president eisenhower had responded. we were going to do something called a national defense act. we were promoting math and science to catch up with the world. sound familiar, madam president? also though, our president wanted to do more. he went to rice university and during that speech he rallied the nation. why as part of his vision of the new frontier why we should travel into space. on that day he said we choose to go to the moon, and we choose to go to the moon in this decade and to do other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.
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and because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and our skills. and that's how in a robust way we took a nascent space program and transformed it into a space super power. it literally took us to the frontier of space and took us to a new frontier. for those 50 years, america continued to lead the way in space and to keep space a peaceful area, not to militarize space, not to colonize it for a single country, but to explore. and along the way exploring the universe to get to a science and technology that would help transform our lives here. america continues to lead the way in space, and as an appropriator for the space
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program, i am so proud of what we continue to do, what we continue to do in the area of space exploration, space and space science. look at where we are now. we are right up there in the space station. we have completed its development. we're going to do new research that's never been done before. and we're part of our wonderful, gallant astronaut program. and at the same time we've invented new technologies to explore the universe. the hubble telescope where its work is located here in maryland, both at goddard and the space telescope institute, and most recently, we have landed curiosity on mars, a robot the size of a mini cooper that will tell us so much about our nearest neighbor. as president kennedy might say, we sent curiosity to mars not because it's easy but because it's hard and we really are curious. over the summer, we lost two of
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our great astronauts. we lost dr. sally ride, the first woman to go into space, whom we so admired. and then we lost astronaut neil armstrong who on july 20, 1968, took that giant step for mankind. tomorrow at the national cathedral, we will honor astronaut neil armstrong, and later on this year, we hope that the national space museum we will honor dr. sally ride. we not only want to respect our astronauts of the past, we want to respect our astronauts of today and our astronauts tomorrow and all of those wonderful young men and women who want to study space, who want to study aeronautics, who want to explore new frontiers of today and come up with new ideas that will lead to new jobs for
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tomorrow. you know, we keep asking nasa to do the hard jobs, explore that universe, protect this planet, make airplanes safer and more reliable. look beyond the reach of earth and develop those new technologies. search for extra terrestrial life out there. maybe it is, maybe it isn't. study the -- study earth as if it were a distant planet. maybe there is intelligent life on earth. let's look for that and let's look for it right here. we need to continue to broaden our reach, to go beyond low earth orbit and to also continue research. a unique, bold partnership, a commercial space company, a private company, sent spaceex to dock with the company. few companies had accomplished that. by this time next year, space-ex will be joined by another
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private company, orbital science, which will launch here from the east coast. although located in virginia, it's a maryland-virginia cooperation. how exciting. our future in space will be built on innovation and discovery, whether it's commercial rocketry, whether it's the james webb telescope that will take us well beyond the work of the hubble or new technology fixing satellites for again that mission to planet earth. new technologies don't just happen. they come from american ingenuity, but they are built on investments. they made america great, and they made the united states nation someone to be worth imitating. madam president, much has been said in the last several weeks about an exceptional america. america is exceptional because of the daring and the do of people like our astronauts, because of talented people who think and study and come up with
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new ideas and because their government back them. i just want to conclude by saying i'm proud of what president kennedy announced, but right here in this body, two people teamed up to make one person in this body and the other the vice president. it was an odd couple. their names were vice president lyndon johnson and margaret chase smith. margaret chase smith was once the longest serving woman in congress. i now hold that record. margaret chase smith from maine was a devotee of the space program. lyndon -- president kennedy set the goal. he gave it to lyndon, his vice president, to make the goal into a reality. he turned to congress, and margaret chase smith helped carry the weight of the congress to put in the right policies and the right funding. isn't that a wonderful story? and it's a wonderful story that we need to take with us, that when we work together with our
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president, when both parties work across the aisle, that's the new frontier, the new frontier that keeps america an exceptional nation. god bless our president kennedy. all of the astronauts that risked their lives and everyone who works to create these new frontiers. i yield the floor and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. franken: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator sphro minnesota. mr. franken: i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. franken: thank you. madam president, i rise today to express my strong support for the veterans job corps act. i'm proud to be a cosponsor of the bill. i'd like to thank senator nelson for introducing the bill, and i'd like to thank senator murray, chairman of the senate veterans' affairs committee, for bringing this bill to the senate and for all that she's done for our nation's veterans. veterans have done so much for
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our country, serving courageously in the military, and they have been tested so profoundly and so many times over the -- in so many times over the last decade. these men and women have done everything for us. we owe them. that means they deserve the best health care and other benefits that they've earned from the department of veterans affairs. and that means a home. last weekend i was back in minnesota at a habitat for humanity build doing critical home repairs for a minnesota guard veteran, sergeant brian neil and his family. brian is a 23-year veteran of the national guard, part of the minnesota national guard unit, the legendary red bulls who had their deployment in iraq extended so that it was one of the longest if not the longest
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deployment in u.s. history. while brian was in iraq, his son was hit by a drunk driver. while returning home from his junior rotc training and he sustained severe brain injury and is severely disabled. in iraq, brian, who mentored younger soldiers, saved the life of up with of those soldiers, brian, again, being a 23-year vet, mentored these young kids and they were in a convoy and he saw one of them get out and collapse. and he recognized the heat stroke and saved his life. sergeant neil himself returned from iraq suffering from very serious physical and psychological wounds that leave his wife, jane, as a caregiver
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for both brian and their son. and i have to tell you they're just the most wonderful people. it was an amazing experience to help them with home repairs that will make sure they have the home that meets their needs. but when i talked to veterans in minnesota these days, the thing i hear most about is -- is jobs, about employment. a job means money, of course, but it means much more. it means a new mission, without a job you really can't reintegrate into your community and start a new phase of your life. veterans unemployment in minnesota, as i'm sure it is in the presider's state of new york, is way too high. my message to employers in minnesota is simple.
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these are the people you want to hire. they've got the skills, they've got the discipline. we all have a role to play in making sure veterans have jobs. employers in the private sector, state government, colleges and universities, municipalities and also the federal government. that's how we do it in minnesota. let me give you an example. we had several thousand red bulls deployed to kuwait and the minnesota national guard recognized that a large number of them weren't going to have jobs when they come back. so the guard and minnesota's outstanding department of employment and economic development went upstream, as they say, to kuwait to get ahead of the problem. they brought corporate leaders from minnesota, businesses like target and best buy and they also brought folks from minsku,
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which is the minnesota state colleges and universities system. they brought them to kuwait to provide training for the guard members entering or reentering the work force. they were able to share invaluable information with the red bulls and in writing a resume, getting ready for an interview and doing well in it. one of the problems is that very often soldiers coming back from afghanistan, came back from iraq, from kuwait, very often in a job interview will say we did this, we did that, we did this, we did that. that's how are you think in the military. employers want to know what you yourself individually did. so it was simply, you know, the employment guys from target saying say i, you know.
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little tips like that. and it's been very helpful. so we all have a role to play. at the federal level last year we passed the vow to hire heroes act that expanded and created new tax credits for businesses that hire veterans, and i've been spreading the word in minnesota, i know the presiding officer has been spreading the word in new york. so our businesses know that for every unemployed veteran they hire they can get a tax credit up to 96 hundred dollars, for hiring a veteran who has a service-related disability. and crachedz down a little bit but this is a good -- rachedz down a little bit but this is a good incentive for businesses to be hiring our veterans. the legislation we're considering today, the veterans job corps act, is the next step that we can and that we should
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take at the federal level. the bill creates a veterans job corps through the department of veterans' affairs in cooperation with other departments where thousands of veterans will be able to work on conservation and research -- i'm sorry, resource management in our nation's public lands. now, under this bill veterans will have the opportunity to restore and protect parks and forests and other public lands, whether they be national, state, or tribal. veterans will be hired to maintain the infrastructure and facilities on these public lands, the bill will also provide funding for veterans to become firefighters and law enforcement officers. it will also provide license -- licensing and certification for
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certain skills that veterans had when they were -- when they were deployed, emergency medical -- in emergency medical , nursing, nursing assistance, and also drivers. so many men and women drive in in -- in these theaters, and so just to ease their getting certification, this bill does that as well. but this part about working with in our nation's parks and these national lands that are so treasured, this is really based on the civil abercrombieian -- civilian conservation corps, the c.c.c. from the new deal which was created through a combination of actions by
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frankly -- frankly roosevelt and legislation, of course, by congress. it was very successful, it was the most popular program of the new deal, and, in fact, at that time veterans were specifically included among those who could be enrolled in the c.c.c. as i said, the c.c.c. was one of the most successful programs that helped us get through the depression. my wife, grain eye's uncle james -- frannie's uncle james who died not long ago at the age of 96 worked for the postal service and served with the u.s. army postal service in england, france, and germany during world war ii. this is a greatest generation guy. but before that, during the depression he joined the civilian conservation corps. he was part of the crew that built the road through evans notch, a beautiful mountainous
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area at the border of maine and new hampshire. my wife is from maine. this was one of james' proudest achievements in life. if you read his obituary, it's one of the most prominent parts of his obituary along with his service during world war ii. and that's the kind of thing that the veterans job corps can be. we've got to do this work on our public lands. our parks, our forests and other public lands need to be maintained and preserved and improved. why not put our veterans to work doing it? they've got the skills, they've got the smeerns, and they've got the discipline -- experience, and they've got the discipline for it. for instance if you spent a lot of time on duty outside and you work in teams which is obviously true of a huge number of those who served in iraq and afghanistan, you're going to be
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very well suited for this work. if you've built roads in iraq or afghanistan, you're well prepared to maintain or manage resources in minnesota's beautiful parks, forests, trails, and other public lands. under a little less pressure, by the way. minnesota has over 227,000 acres of land in 73 state and national parks and recreation areas and that doesn't count our innew mexicoable public lands under more local jurisdiction. these of are -- are some of the most beautiful places in the unt country. national park, superior, chap ayou what national forests, trails along the mississippi and st. croix river, to name a few. these need to be protected, improved and restored.
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this is important work, and it is dignified work. if you are making sure it's in your obituary 60 years later, 70 years later, you know that it is very important, dignified work. and what better way to preserve the duty of these places than having veterans do it, our heroes do it. the bill also incorporates a number of other veterans job provisions from other bills sponsored by my colleagues fm both sides of the aisle. and the one i started to mention before is the certification and licensure requirements, becoming a nursing assistant or emergency medical technician. i knew i was looking for a word. it was "technician." and for getting a commercial driver's license. this is also an issue that my colleague, my senior senator
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from minnesota, senator klobuchar, has spent a lot of time working on. the provisions in this bill authored by senator pryor tells states they have to take military training into consideration in issuing licenses for those jobs if they want to continue getting federal funds. for some important veteran employment programs that states administer. this will provide an additional incentive for states to make sure that service members highly relevant training and experience in these fields can be translated into civilian qualifications, eliminating the need for duplicative training and opening the door to many -- many more jobs for highly trained veterans. i can tell you, seven u.s.o. tours, our men and women in the
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military are magnificent. and they are highly trained and man, are they disciplined, and man, are they great and they deserve this. the veterans job corps is a great idea for employing our veterans -- our nation's veterans doing the important work of preserving, protecting and improving our nation's public lands and serving as first responders, again, police and firefighters. it is my strong hope that we will be able to bring debate on this bill to a close, pass it, and have it enacted into law. our nation's veterans deserve nothing less. and, madam president, i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call:

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U.S. Senate
CSPAN September 12, 2012 9:00am-12:00pm EDT

News/Business.

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